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Grandparent's Rights - Marrison Family Law Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:11:35 -0600 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Grandparents' Rights In Colorado Grandparents' Rights In Colorado

There’s no doubt that grandparents play an increasingly important role in the life of a child. In fact, one recent study from the University of Chicago and the National Institute on Aging says that some 60 percent of grandparents served as caregivers to grandchildren over a ten year period.

It’s no wonder that the number of involved grandparents would make them want to fight for visitation rights after their children get divorced.

As a grandparent, you should know your rights for visitation and custody.

Census data indicates that 8 percent of grandparents actually live with their grandchild in the same house, and across America 2.7 million grandparents supply for the bulk of their grandchildren’s needs. This is an increase of 300,000 households since the 2006 Census. Additionally, 30 percent of working mothers with children under five said that grandparents were the primary caregiver while they were at work.

While it’s true that that all the support provided by grandparents would have implications on public policy, “grandparents’ rights” are also a hot topic among Colorado Springs divorce lawyers. It is not uncommon for a grandparent to be awarded a specific amount of visitation time with minor children after a divorce; nor is it surprising to learn that grandparents would be willing to fight for this right in court.

Grandparent involvement is in the child’s best interest

There’s no doubt that grandparents can be a very steady and calming force in a child’s world; one that can be extremely useful during the turmoil of their parents’ divorce. Given the fact that the basis of any custody decision must rest on the best interest of the children, it’s clear that grandparents must be considered more than ever. In addition to their role as caregivers, children form very powerful bonds with their grandparents due to their ability to provide a unique perspective on the world.

As much as the courts recognize grandparents for their role in a child’s life, one of the two parents is typically granted custody in a divorce. This could jeopardize the ability of the non-custodial grandparents to spend time visiting the child and it could have a serious impact on maintaining the relationship they have with their grandchild. In addition, in the unfortunate event that one of the parents passes away, a child could potentially lose all contact with the family of the deceased parent.

These and other issues have been the impetus for cases where grandparents attempt to get legal visitation rights with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, different states have different views on this matter and some even feel that the custodial parent, if he or she is in good health, has the right to determine with whom the minor child interacts.

Legal Rights for Grandparents in Colorado

If you have concerns about how an impending divorce might affect your ability to spend time with grandchildren, you have every right to seek legal visitation rights in Colorado. However, there’s no guarantee that the court will agree with your position. Each case is different, so it will depend upon the circumstances of the divorce and the logistics of such visitation.

As a grandparent seeking visitation rights in Colorado, you will need an attorney who can make convincing arguments to show that such rights would be in the best interests of the child. This type of argument will maximize the chances of obtaining these rights. In order to accomplish this, it must first be proven that the grandparents have formed a special bond over a period of time and established a special closeness to the child. An attorney will set out to prove that the severing of these bonds would adversely affect the child’s emotional health.

What about the child’s wishes?

In most states, if the child is old enough to make this decision the Court will solicit his or her wishes as part of the testimony. The age of the grandparents should not play a role in any decision. However, grandparents’ rights are still an extremely complex issue and a successful outcome depends heavily on the grandparents’ ability to make a convincing argument. Contact an experienced Colorado Springs family lawyer to get started on your case and secure the right to visit with your grandchildren.

Grandparents' Custody

In Colorado, grandparents have rights to visitation with their grandchildren if the parents approve. Parents have a constitutional right to determine with whom their children should visit. Sometimes, however, we encounter the situation in which the parents decide that the grandparents, may not see the grandchildren. What can a grandparent do?

If there is a pending case, either a divorce, a paternity, or a juvenile case, grandparents may seek to have their grandparent rights established formally. If there is abuse or neglect, the grandparent may work through the Department of Human Services to protect the children, and obtain their grandparent rights in that case.

If the grandchild has been living with the grandparents for over six months, the grandparents may also bring their own new case to obtain grandparent custody of the children.

]]> (Pat Marrison) Grandparent's Rights Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:38:00 -0600
Teenage Pregnancy and Family Law in Colorado Springs – Get a Free Consultation

blog-logoIt is all too common to hear about a teenage girl getting pregnant these days, but it’s rare to hear much about the teenage father that got them pregnant.  When a decision is made to keep the baby, it seems that the parents of the girl assume the responsibility of raising their grandchild while the life of the boy doesn’t change.  If this sounds like you, then it may be time to learn more about Colorado family law and ask a Colorado Springs lawyer for a free consultation.

Parents' & Grandparents' Rights

The expense of raising a child should be shared between both the mother and father, even if it is a teenage pregnancy. Some grandparents skip this step because they don’t want an ongoing relationship with the young man who got their daughter pregnant.  It’s also possible that they don’t want their daughter to continue a relationship with him either. 

However, even if his parenting rights are limited and they have no plans to marry, the father of the child has a legal responsibility to pay child support.  Oftentimes, arrangements can be made between the parents of minor children by following the child support guidelines within the Colorado family law.  The Colorado Springs lawyers at the Marrison Family Law LLC can offer a free consultation to help you get started. 

But what if he cannot afford child support?

With teenage parents, this reaction is all too common, especially when they see the amount of money they’re expected to pay.  But the truth is, if a teenage girl’s parents are supporting the child, they are doing more than just spending money on diapers and formula; they may be foregoing income from a job or delaying retirement.  Many people’s lives may need to be disrupted in order to raise a child from an unexpected pregnancy, and that may include the family of the teenage dad. 

Child support is not just for parents who get divorced; it is also for parents who never got married in the first place.  A mother’s relationship with the child’s father is irrelevant to the fact that a child was born who needs adequate financial support.   If you want the dad to assume this responsibility, your lawyer will recommend you consider a paternity test that legally ties the father to the child, but there are some downsides to doing this.  For example, if you don’t trust that the father will act in the best interests of the child, you won’t want to give him the right to do so.   However, if he willingly accepts the paternity action, the court will grant him the same rights as a biological parent. 

As you can see, there is much to be learned about Colorado family law. Call a Colorado Springs lawyer from the Marrison Family Law LLC and ask for a free consultation.

]]> (Pat Marrison) Grandparent's Rights Fri, 10 Jun 2011 12:33:35 -0600
Grandparent's Rights: Grandparent Adoption in Colorado

blog-logoAccording to U.S. Census data, the number of minor children being raised by someone other than their parent(s) has dramatically increased over the past 25 years.  Not surprisingly, the majority of these children are being raised by grandparents.  The most recent figures suggest that well over six million children are living in households headed by grandparents or other non-parental relatives, with neither parent present. 

If you find yourself in the position of wanting to legally adopt your grandchild(ren) in the state of Colorado, a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can help ensure the process goes smoothly. 

Some of the most common reasons why Colorado Springs area grandparents adopt include: 

  • Death of a parent or parents
  • Substance Abuse
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Unemployment / Poverty
  • Divorce
  • Mental Health Problems

Grandparents who decide to adopt face some specific obstacles that are not usually encountered by their biological parents.  For one, they are older and less energetic than their children.  It may be difficult for them to afford the type of housing they need to live with the children, or to stay current with what is going on in their grandchildren’s lives.  Without the ability to legally adopt the children, grandparents would be unable to add the children as a dependent on tax returns or place them on health insurance policies.  Even enrolling a child in Colorado Springs area schools can be difficult without a legal adoption.

Adoption is just one of many options for Colorado Springs grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  Other options include guardianship and legal custody.  However, absent a legal adoption, the grandparents do not have parental rights.  Grandparent adoption can be a long and emotional process, especially when it involves a legal proceeding against one’s own child, but it is important to keep the best interests of the children in mind. 

If you have questions about grandparent adoption and would like to learn more about the process, a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can provide valuable assistance and representation.

]]> (Pat Marrison) Grandparent's Rights Thu, 15 Jul 2010 13:46:09 -0600